Category Archives: Jamaica – June 2016

Jamaica – Last Work Day

What a day! We changed things up a little today.

After breakfast, we started off in two different places: the majority of the team headed down to RAISE Jamaica to continue helping on their current infrastructure project, which is a produce storage building. They’re working on finishing the interior and exterior walls, which means putting coatings of mortar over top of the block walls to make them more pest/weather-resistant, and to look nicer too. Before starting work for the day, Patrick showed us around his farm where he discussed what he’s growing, why he’s growing it, and how what he’s doing fits into the bigger picture of RAISE and the surrounding community. That man’s passion for what he’s doing and who he’s doing it for is inspiring to say the least. Also, a few team members stayed behind at CSI to help sort through all the wonderful donations (750 pounds of donations!) the Team collected from friends and family, before we departed, and brought with us to Highgate. The clothes, shoes, school supplies, tools, and more are now organized and will be heading out to local churches and organizations to get them to folks very much in need of those supplies.

After lunch we all got cleaned up and headed down to Stacey Ann’s new house for the official dedication. We talked a lot, prayed a lot, sang a little, and helped get some things set up inside her new home. It’s amazing to see the culmination and impact of our time with Stacey and her family; and it’s awesome to think about this young single mother raising her children in their new home. I don’t feel as though I can adequately describe it, you can only see it. (And by “see it,” I mean, I highly encourage you to consider getting involved in a short-term mission trip!)

Our final event of the day was VBS over in Clonmel. The whole team got to go today, which was wonderful! It was the last day for VBS. We got to play soccer, and a couple of other games which may have been made up right there on the spot, prior to starting the evening’s program. We finished up our lesson about creation and got to do some fun activities. The evening came to a close when the kiddos sang us a few songs to show their appreciation for the VBS team.

Tonight we’re packing up so that we can make our way back towards MoBay tomorrow. We have to say goodbye to our Jamaican friends for now, and eagerly anticipate returning next year. This week has been life-changing for so many people. The Team has morphed into a little family.

Leaving Highgate, and Jamaica, is sad; but we’re looking forward to returning to our families at home and getting to share stories of our time here. Thank you for following our adventures in Jamaica!_MG_6299
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Jamaica – How Did This Go So Fast?

Hello again from Jamaica!

Today was our third work day, and another wonderful day. It’s amazing how fast our time here is going, but we’re not done yet! Liz is back to tell you a little bit about our day…

We finished the house everybody! We worked hard all day while still being able to build close relationships with the Jamaicans. God is using us to speak through Him and amazing things are happening because of it! Some people were able to go to RAISE in the afternoon. We are mixing cement near pro status, but the workers down there continue to show us how talented they truly are and how much time it will take to meet pro status. During VBS Elizabeth taught VBS with ants in her pants – literally! So if you weren’t sure if there are biting ants that like pants here, they are most definitely are!

After dinner, we got to hear some of the extraordinarily talented CSI Staff sing; and they showed us how to do a couple of Jamaican dances too.

We’re looking forward to wrapping up our time in Highgate tomorrow, and will be back to tell you all about it tomorrow!



Jamaica – Another Great Day!

Hi Guys!

We had another great day today. Amanda is back to fill you in on what our day looked like…

Last night (Monday) there was the rumble of thunder, lightning in the sky and a storm passing by and we were thankful that the rain did not come during the work day. The cool breeze and fresh air made sleep pleasant; but, we woke to no electricity. All team members remained positive and we were thankful for hot coffee and hot breakfast of oatmeal, blueberry muffins, watermelon and the sweetest pineapple.

Following breakfast, we loaded into the back of the work truck and we were off to the work site. It is an experience riding over the potholes, around the curves and ducking under flying tree branches. Everyone was thankful for the cloud coverage and cooler temperature for work today. The team and Stacey and her family quickly got to work on the house. Three more walls were put up and painted, windows and doors were cut out, and the rafters were put on the roof. We are amazed at how quickly the house is going up and the relationships that are being formed between our team as well as with the Jamaicans on the build site.

After lunch, part of the team returned to RAISE and continued to work on the walls of the produce storage building. The team mixed concrete and learned the proper technique to fling it on the wall. (We’re working on finishing some concrete walls.) There was lots of laughter and relationships formed with the RAISE workers on site. At the end of the day, Vacation Bible School continued. Some of the children from the first day invited their friends and there was a larger turnout. The children are a joy to be around and really enjoy the singing, coloring, teaching and interaction with the team.

The entire team returned to the Mission Guest House and enjoyed a traditional Jamaican dinner of fried chicken, red beans and rice with red sauce, cooked cabbage with cheese and homemade rolls. Following dinner, we loaded back into the van and went into town. The first stop was visiting local artists who create and paint pottery. We then ventured into downtown Highgate where everyone got to enjoy ice cream which was a sweet ending to a beautiful day.

We are so thankful that God has provided this opportunity for us to come together and share this experience. When our team met in January for the first time, we were a mixed group of people unsure of what we had in common: married and single, with children and without children, full time workers and stay at home moms. It is so amazing to see the friendships forming as we are doing God’s work here in Jamaica!

In Christ,
Amanda

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Jamaica – First Work Day

We had a great start to our work week!  Liz wanted to update you on what the Team got started on today:

First work day! Today we were able to meet the family that we were building a house for. The family we are building a house for is a single mom and she has two very little kids. We built the base of the house, were able to get up one of the walls, and shape the door for the house. Some people spent the second half of the day on RAISE. They were able to learn about the progress of the produce building to store the crops before they are taken to the market. It is getting closer to being done! Yes! Later, some team members went to a local church to teach VBS. The kids are incredibly caring and loving. They taught us so much in just the first day!

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Jamaica – First Full Day

Greetings from Jamaica!

We made it to, and across, Jamaica safely! After we spent most of Saturday traveling, we spent that last few hours getting settled in, and then went to bed early. Today, Sunday, was spent getting to know our surroundings better, then going to church and visiting a nursing home in Highgate. Here’s what Sandy and Amanda had to say about their experiences today:

We all woke this morning to a beautiful, sunny day in Jamaica with breezes off the bay and mist over the mountains to the south of the mission house. We had a breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and delicious cinnamon rolls prepared by the loving hands of our cook, Pinto. It is also Father’s Day and being Sunday, we had the privilege of attending Clonmel Baptist Church for services.
The church service was what touched many of our hearts today. Being Father’s Day, the leaders and the congregation recognized and celebrated the Father’s in every way. They were all called to the front so that we could applaud them and lift them up to the Lord. Each Father was given a gift and the love of the guests and the people from this community.

The sermon was Luke 15:1-32 “The Parable of the Prodigal Son”. One of the Elder’s, Ricardo, whom I remember from last year, preached today and it was very moving. Ricardo’s voice is one that draws you in and captures your undivided attention. He is inspiring and you walk away feeling fed by the Word and with a feeling of such joy.

Following the service everyone was served cake and ice cream to continue the celebration of our Father’s here on this earth, as well as our Heavenly Father above. We took a picture of our group next to the Clonmel Baptist Church sign and thanked our host, Patrick, as we climbed into the van to head back to the mission house. God is so good.

In Christ, Sandy

What a blessing it is to be in such a beautiful place that God has created. We are stepping away from our responsibilities at home and transitioning to our time here in Jamaica. It is so nice to return back to the peaceful Mission Guest House to a homemade lunch made by Pinto. We had chicken salad sandwiches, chips, chocolate chip cookies
and the sweetest fresh mango ever tasted.

This afternoon the team went to see the town of Highgate for the first time. We went to visit the residents of the Highgate nursing home and staff. There were a few residents enjoying the beautiful afternoon on the front porch and other residents were spending time relaxing in their beds. Our team split up and ensured that each resident was visited. It was obvious that all of the residents were longing for attention and their faces glowed with smiles from our interaction and touch. The love that was shared through conversations, foot rubs, hand massages, hugs and songs impacted the residents, staff and each team member. The time spent at the nursing home flew by and it was time to go before we knew it. As we were leaving, some of the residents were crying and had to be consoled by staff. We know we truly made a difference in the lives of these residents today.

We returned to the Mission Guest House and spent time in fellowship over another wonderful meal prepared by Pinto. We are so thankful that God has provided safe flights and van travels for all of our team members who are now safely under one roof. We ended the evening with a team meeting with Mike who outlined our work for the week. We will be working at three sites: working with CSI to build a house for a single mother of two who is currently in trade school, working with RAISE to continue the started work on the produce storage facility, and facilitating a Vacation Bible School at the Clonmel Baptist Church. We are so excited to be the hands and feet of God serving the people of Jamaica!

In Christ, Amanda

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